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Hartlepool appoint ex-Middlesbrough, Sheff Wed, Doncaster, Bradford player

Hartlepool United appoint ex-Middlesbrough, Sheff Wed, Doncaster, Bradford player Graeme Lee as their new first team manager.

After a long and sometimes confusing recruitment process, the League Two outfit’s officials have agreed the terms of a deal with Lee.

It comes with the Pools due to play Sheffield Wednesday in the last 32 of the Papa John’s Trophy on Wednesday night.

Hartlepool United currently sit 17th in the League Two standings, picking up 23 points from 19 games.


Hartlepool United are delighted to appoint Graeme Lee as the new Manager of Hartlepool United FC with Michael Nelson joining as Assistant Manager.

Lee Turnbull will also join the club in a consulting capacity to lead the club’s scouting and recruitment with an immediate focus on the January transfer window.

The trio of new appointments will join current First Team Coach Anthony Sweeney, Head of Performance Jake Simpson, Goalkeeper Coach Dimi Konstantopoulos and 1st Team Physio Steven Hayward in a new look backroom staff.

After the unexpected departure of Dave Challinor, the club wanted to undertake a review alongside running a professional appointment process that considered the full intended complement of staff.

While it may have frustrated some fans that it has taken a number of weeks to appoint a Manager, it was important to meet in person a number of candidates and to provide the best possible opportunity to make the right combination of appointments.

Chairman Raj Singh said:

“It was always the view that we wanted to appoint a Manager and coaching team that was modern in their approach, with the capability to build on foundations that have been put in place over recent years.”

“Graeme joins us from Middlesbrough FC where has amassed a wealth of experience over a 10 year period and alongside Michael Nelson we believe we have two very forward thinking coaches that are also strong and capable characters to lead the players and club forward.”

“Graeme and Michael also know this level of football remarkably well having captained various sides in the Football league, they are natural leaders and both have a deep connection with our club having played nearly 500 games for Hartlepool United between them.”

“I have great confidence that their commitment and work ethic will be second to none and I felt it was critical that we have people in the building who want to go the journey with us, to really unlock this club’s full potential.”

Commenting on Lee Turnbull, Chairman Raj Singh added:

“Lee Turnbull has a proven track record in recruitment at this level of the game, successfully leading recruitment teams at Bradford City; Scunthorpe United; Sheffield United, Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield. His knowledge of players and the market throughout League One, Two and the National League is outstanding.”

“His appointment is another critical piece of the jigsaw as we prepare for the January window and beyond. It reflects our ambition as a club to quickly be competing at the top end of the league. It also ties in with our plans for re-introducing the academy system longer term”.

Chairman Raj Singh went on to say:

“I would like to thank all of the coaching staff who have led the team during the interim period, particularly Tony Sweeney who has taken on a lot of additional responsibility. They all need commending as do Hartlepool College in providing their support through Ian McGuckin.”

“Finally, I’d also like express my thanks to fellow Board members Lee Rust and Adrian Bevington for their work during this period. We will be doing all we can to provide appropriate support to Graeme, the staff and the team moving forward to achieve success and to reward our fans for their incredible following.”

Tony Sweeney will remain in charge of the first team for tonight’s Papa John’s fixture at Sheffield Wednesday.

Twitter users reacted as Hartlepool appoint an ex-Middlesbrough, Sheff Wed, Doncaster, Bradford player as their new boss…

@MattyMason_1908: Good luck to the lad it’s a tough job

@stucath70: Welcome back Spike

@arydercockhorse: Think it needed experience but hey ho they’ll get the backing of the fans

@Mickyburns12: Disappointed to be honest but let’s get behind him and hopefully he,ll prove a lot of us wrong UTP

@Pauldon14: Good luck to him. On paper it’s a very underwhelming appointment to say the least but will reserve my judgement for on the pitch performances. Time to push on.

@mickyc1993: Very disappointing but we move

Rookie manager in when:
– We’ve (supposedly) got money available for the first time in an age,
– We’ve lost 5 on the spin.
Both situations scream for more experience (for contacts/network & man-management respectively).
But… here we are. Good luck Spike #HUFC

@StellingRobbie: I have quite a good feeling about this appointment. Knows the area and the football culture, hopefully some contacts at Boro, seems like a good man, young and exciting. Might not have been who we expected but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Let’s all get right behind him!

@joe_hpool: let’s get behind him

@Ryannx97: Quite disappointed with this appointment when you consider the names we were looking at. However you’ve got to back the manager! Can’t write him off before a ball is kicked

@douggyhufc: Spike Lee’s blue n white army

@Shakyshakes1980: These two are good lads and wish them absolutely all the best. Hopefully they’ll be given the tools to succeed as big work is needed in January particularly. Welcome back to Pools @mnelse6 and @5spike 👍👌👏🏻👏🏻

@MattSummerhill: Good luck to Spike, was a player I had a huge amount of time for when he played for Wednesday

@Jakerich18: I’ve not been this underwhelmed with news out of the football club since Andrew Steel managed to have a third of the town on strings (me included) thinking we’d signed a unbelieveable striker who was great in the box for it to be a sponsorship deal with Pizza Guys

@durhamchris1983: Massively underwhelming cheap options. Over 4 weeks for this suggests numerous knock backs elsewhere. Good luck to them but it’s a huge risk.

@JackkAnderson96: 2 people who will give their all for the club, everyone needs to get behind them. Welcome back @mnelse6 @5spike UTP

@ThorntonCraig: What a fucking joke!

@Nintendad_: Hopefully start getting some results

@ltreidy67: All managerial appointments are a gamble but this one seems like a bigger one than most.

@gingerbloke53: Wish them all the luck in the world and hope they’ll be a success’s in their new roles – club men etc etc… “Looking for a MANAGER with experience at this level.” Beginning to think our previous manager may have been right to go – hope I’m wrong….

@anthdunn67: Cheap. Short sighted. Short cuts. Raj, what exactly did we do with the promotion money 💰???

@Davidjrj123: Spike, Nelse and Sweens all back at the Vic that’s what dreams are made of. If they can’t motivate you to play for Hartlepool United then nobody can!

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